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This October 27 marks the 50th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” speech, which launched the “Great Communicator” on his incredible political career. This oration on behalf of conservative Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964, put Reagan on the political map and eventually launched him to the presidency.
In order to bring Reagan’s timeless speech to a new generation Young America’s Foundation (YAF) is launching A Time for Choosing: The Next Generation project. YAF will also be releasing a number of short videos this week, juxtaposing present day events with the timeless wisdom of conservatism, in Reagan’s own words. These videos include: national security, limited government, entitlement reform, the importance of the private sector, and self-determination.
YAF is commemorating the anniversary of what is sometimes simply called “The Speech,” with special initiatives reaching young people on college campuses, through conferences and seminars across the country, in the media, and through programs at the Reagan Ranch and Reagan Ranch Center.
Historian Craig Shirley wrote about how Reagan appealed to young voters in his book about the 1980 presidential election, Rendezvous With Destiny. Shirley wrote, “Reagan, the oldest candidate, knew what was on the minds of young Americans: they had been robbed of their future and didn’t like it one bit.” The newest generation, living with the burden of having less prosperity than their parents, needs to hear this message.
Reagan’s half-hour performance in front of a live audience drew from American history--speeches of Abraham Lincoln, John Winthrop, and Franklin Roosevelt in particular--and laid out the deep principles that would become the cornerstone of the conservative movement for the next half century. Channeling the American tradition and ideas stemming from the founding, Reagan proposed to set out a bold, new course for American governance that departed from the mantras of a calcified twentieth century progressivism.
By appealing to patriotism, the American dream, and simple, common-sense ideas Reagan helped lay the groundwork for a resurgent conservative movement. Reagan energized young people, many of whom would help put him in the White House.
Ultimately, Reagan proposed that Americans should have a clear cut choice when they went to the ballot box, one that he believed was clear. Reagan said, “You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I'd like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There's only an up or down.”
According to Reagan every generation has an opportunity to make a choice; embrace freedom and individual liberty as passed down from the founders, or not. Reagan hit this theme again in his 1967 California gubernatorial inauguration speech. “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction,” Reagan continued. “It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”
In giving voters a choice, Goldwater and Reagan departed from the “me-too conservatism” that defined the post-New Deal Republican Party. Reagan was asking Americans to do more than vote their interest or simply pick between two “personalities.” Using stirring rhetoric, sunny optimism, and deeply held belief in the American people—reminiscent of a Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson—Reagan inspired a new generation to fight for ideals that had made the nation truly great.
Stephen F. Hayward wrote in The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order:
…Reagan exuded a forward-looking optimism rooted in the latent greatness of America. This was not the non-ideological Chamber of Commerce kind of conservatism, the kind of conservatism that led Richard Nixon to say in the 1960 campaign, “It’s the millions of people that are buying new cars that have faith in America.” That kind of conservatism won’t stir anyone’s soul. For Reagan, faith in America transcended its material accomplishments.
The Time for Choosing speech was a critical moment in Reagan’s career that brought his name and message to a generation looking for answers. Though Goldwater would go on to lose in a landslide defeat, the power or Reagan’s message ignited a spark in Americans. His message would resonate after the failure of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and the malaise of Jimmy Carter’s administration in the 1970s. Fortunately, YAF is bringing Reagan’s message to a new generation, 50 years later.
We have elections coming up next month and Freedom Connector is practically a ghost town! Is this going to be a reflection of the conservative turnout? Hope not! I hope people are more fired up than ever! Maybe it's just because it is not a presidential election? Anyone else want to weigh in?
This group within the progressive ranks believe that the human race is like a cancer on Gaia “mother earth” that has to be controlled through population reduction. Some of these moonbats are even calling for the eradication of humans altogether.
If Obama’s Ebola Czar is not a full-blown flag waving eugenics freak, he certainly is sympathetic to their concerns. When asked about the top leadership issue facing the world today, his answer: “World Overpopulation!”
What makes this even more scary is that a few of these left-wing radicals have even been hoping for a global Ebola pandemic for years.
An award-winning Texas scientist was given a standing ovation after he advocated the extermination of 90 per cent of the Earth’s population by an airborne Ebola virus.
(News Weekly) The University of Texas evolutionary ecologist, Dr Eric R. Pianka, was addressing the 109th meeting of the Texas Academy of Science at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, in early March, after the academy had named him 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.
Present at Pianka’s speech was Forrest M. Mim III, a popular science writer and editor of the bi-weekly journal, The Citizen Scientist. He reported:
“Something curious occurred a minute before Pianka began speaking. An official of the Academy approached a video camera operator at the front of the auditorium and engaged him in animated conversation. The camera operator did not look pleased as he pointed the lens of the big camera to the ceiling and slowly walked away.
“This curious incident came to mind a few minutes later when Professor Pianka began his speech by explaining that the general public is not yet ready to hear what he was about to tell us. Because of many years of experience as a writer and editor, Pianka’s strange introduction and the TV camera incident raised a red flag in my mind … I grabbed a notepad …” (“Meeting Doctor Doom”, The Citizen Scientist, March 31, 2006).
Pianka began his speech by condemning anthropocentrism, or the idea that the human race occupies a privileged position in nature. He exclaimed, “We’re no better than bacteria!”
Gives you a warm and fuzzy doesn’t it?
Yeah right.... ACCIDENT?????????????????? I DON'T BELIEVE IT FOR A MINUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Islamic State has released a new video in which it brags that it recovered weapons and supplies that the U.S. military intended to deliver to Kurdish fighters, who are locked in a fight with the militants over control of the Syrian border town of Kobane.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist social media accounts, drew attention to the video Tuesday. At one point, it appears to show a masked militant raking his hands through a crate filled with hand grenades.
A U.S. Central Command spokesman said he was looking into the reports. In a news release Monday, U.S. military officials acknowledged launching one airstrike near Kobane that they said destroyed “a U.S. airdrop of Kurdish supplies” to prevent “these supplies from falling into enemy hands.”
“All other resupply bundles were successfully delivered,” the CENTCOM news release said, without specifying what was in the shipment.
On Tuesday, the U.S. military announced another four airstrikes near Kobane, saying it hit Islamic State fighting positions, a building occupied by the militants, and “a large ISIL unit,” using one of the acronyms for the group. The U.S. has launched dozens of airstrikes around Kobane in the last week, as the militants besiege the town.
The incident highlights the difficulty in making sure all airdrops are accurate, even with GPS-guided parachutes that the Air Force commonly uses. Airdrops of food and water to religious minorities trapped on mountain cliffs in northern Iraq in August hit the mark about 80 percent of the time, Pentagon officials said at the time.
The United States began dropping weapons, ammunition, medical supplies and other equipment to fighters defending Kobane on Sunday night, in part because Turkey would not allow Kurdish fighters to cross its borders into Kobane to bolster the town’s defenses. Turkish officials said they changed their mind on Monday, but the deal is tentative and depends on whether separate Kurdish groups can resolve longterm differences to confront the Islamic State.
If you consider what ISIS has been able to accomplish, it is rather perplexing. Under what is supposed to be an air armada of coalition aircraft aimed at degrading and destroying the barbaric Islamic terrorist army, ISIS is still conducting multiple offensive operations.
Albeit somewhat stalled, ISIS is still pressing the attack against the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani. ISIS also executed multiple synchronized and coordinated attacks against Kurdish positions in northern Iraq — upwards to 15 different raid-type operations. And ISIS is pressuring the outskirts of Baghdad and has effectively established a three-point cordon around the capitol of Iraq — a city of some 7 million.
One of the things you learn in the military is that you can only have one main effort. You may have two to three supporting efforts, but there is only one primary endeavor which gets the priority of resources.
And so we need to analyze what ISIS is doing with that same perspective. The primary objective of ISIS is to establish an Islamic state, the base of a caliphate ruled under Sharia law — and of course its subsequent expansion. ISIS does not regard secular governance and does not respect the established national boundaries of the Sykes-Picot agreement. ISIS is a Sunni Islamic terrorist army and its origins are from the Sunni effort to undermine and defeat the Shiite/Alawite Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.
And just to clarify what is the rub between Sunnis and Shiites — Sunnis believe that only a direct descendant of Muhammad can be the ruler. Shiites believe that any faithful and observant Muslim can be the ruler. But make no mistake, both sects believe in Islamic domination and rule. They just get all in a tizzy about who should rule — and the Shiites have not forgotten the massacre at Karbala, enacted by the Sunnis.
So I sense Baghdad represents the main effort for ISIS. Capturing the capitol? Absolutely not, because they’re not in a position to manage such a mass of population, nor do they want to be drawn into the quagmire of urban combat.
But what ISIS seeks to do is destabilize the Iraqi government and the best means to that end are suicide bombers and terrorist attacks – which are happening to a greater degree already.
As reported by the Associated Press, “Recent attacks have killed dozens in Baghdad and the Shiite holy city of Karbala. In the capital, the bomber blew himself up among Shiite worshippers as they were leaving a mosque in a central commercial area after midday prayers Monday. That blast killed at least 17 people and wounded 28, a police officer said. In Karbala, four separate car bombs went off simultaneously, killing at least 26 people and wounding 55, another police officer said. The city, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Baghdad, is home to the tombs of two revered Shiite imams and the site of year-round pilgrimages. The explosives-laden cars were parked in commercial areas and parking lots near government offices, the officer added. The attacks in Baghdad and Karbala, the latest in relentless assaults that have challenged the Shiite-led government, came a day after a suicide bombing targeted another Shiite mosque in the Iraqi capital, killing 28 people. The latest attacks bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, which has recently claimed several other large bombings in Baghdad and elsewhere, particularly in Shiite areas.”
ISIS has been focused on consolidating its gains in Iraq’s huge and Sunni western Al Anbar province. And they’ve been able to isolate Baghdad effectively from the northwest to the west to the southwest.
A side benefit for ISIS in its Baghdad effort is delegitimizing the United States and our operations in Iraq. Remember, the world’s largest embassy in Baghdad is ours, and nothing could be better for ISIS than to be in position to launch mortars, artillery or some type of attack against the U.S. embassy itself. As we all know, an embassy represents the sovereign territory of a nation. What greater goal and accomplishment could ISIS have than to breach the walls of the infamous “Green Zone” of our embassy and raise their black flag? Furthermore, ISIS is positioned right at Abu Gharaib, which puts them just outside of artillery firing range against the Baghdad airport.
Just last week there were reports of ISIS fighters getting fighter aircraft training. Now, of course these are very old MiG platforms, but these aircraft aren’t intended to fly traditional bomber or air-to-air missions. Don’t forget what terrorists learned to do with civilian airliners heavy with fuel on 9-11. My assessment is that “IF” ISIS is indeed training fighters to fly fighter aircraft, they will be heavily loaded with ordnance for one purpose — the Islamic kamikaze. And the target would be our U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
No, we cannot allow ISIS to have success at Kobani and must wholeheartedly support the only fighting “boots on the ground” — our Kurdish friends. However, we cannot lose focus on the growing main effort of ISIS in the vicinity of Baghdad, which if successful, would have a huge strategic impact — and rallying cry for Islamo-fascism and jihadism.
War on Poverty Turns 50: Are We Winning Yet?
By Michael D. Tanner and Charles Hughes
The War on Poverty is 50 years old. Over that time, federal and state governments have spent more than $19 trillion fighting poverty. But what have we really accomplished?
Although far from conclusive, the evidence suggests that we have successfully reduced many of the deprivations of material poverty, especially in the early years of the War on Poverty. However, these efforts were more successful among socioeconomically stable groups such as the elderly than low-income groups facing other social problems. Moreover, other factors like the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the expansion of economic opportunities to African Americans and women, increased private charity, and general economic growth may all have played a role in whatever poverty reduction occurred.
However, even if the War on Poverty achieved some initial success, the programs it spawned have long since reached a point of diminishing returns. In recent years we have spent more and more money on more and more programs, while realizing few, if any, additional gains. More important, the War on Poverty has failed to make those living in poverty independent or increase economic mobility among the poor and children. We may have made the lives of the poor less uncomfortable, but we have failed to truly lift people out of poverty.
The failures of the War on Poverty should serve as an object lesson for policymakers today. Good intentions are not enough. We should not continue to throw money at failed programs in the name of compassion.
Save the Date: On January 29, 2015, Cato is having a special half-day conference at Columbia University to discuss whether the War on Poverty succeeded in reducing poverty in the United States, what remains to be done, and whether private charitable efforts would be a better alternative to government welfare programs.
When conservatives consider the casualties of Obama’s national security policies, their attention is drawn quite naturally to Benghazi. In this shameful episode, the Obama Administration sacrificed an ambassador and three American heroes to protect a deceptive presidential campaign message in which Obama claimed that the war against al-Qaeda was over and won (“Osama bin Laden is dead, and al-Qaeda is on the run”).
When conservatives consider the casualties of Obama’s national security policies, their attention is drawn quite naturally to Benghazi. In this shameful episode, the Obama Administration sacrificed an ambassador and three American heroes to protect a deceptive presidential campaign message in which Obama claimed that the war against al-Qaeda was over and won (“Osama bin Laden is dead, and al-Qaeda is on the run”). The facts are these: Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American heroes were sent into an al-Qaeda stomping ground that the British and other diplomatic consulates had already evacuated; they were denied the security they had requested; they were then left to die during a seven hour fire fight when their compound was attacked, and finally betrayed in death, when Obama and his representatives lied to the world about what had taken place and when he failed to bring their killers to justice as he had mendaciously promised he would.
Benghazi can be seen as the collateral damage caused by presidential lies – and worse – presidential denial that there is in fact a war that Islamists have declared on America. Instead Obama insists – in the official language he authorized and that is still in place – that America’s responses to acts of Islamic terror should be described as “overseas contingency operations.” If Islamic murders and beheadings take place in the homeland, Obama calls them “workplace violence.” Benghazi is also the most shameful presidential abandonment of Americans in the field in our history – a disgrace compounded when Obama justified his trade of five Taliban Generals for one American deserter by saying Americans don’t leave their countrymen on the battlefield, which is precisely what he did in Benghazi. All of which justifies the conservative focus on this terrible event.
But the casualties of Obama’s reign in Benghazi are dwarfed by the hundreds of thousands of deaths his policies have led to in Syria and Iraq, and the millions of Iraqis, Syrians and Lybians that those same policies have caused to flee their homes and become homeless in Turkey, Tunisia and other places of refuge. Obama’s legacy is defined by his ideological aversion to American power, his rule as the most anti-military president in our history, and his deeds as an “anti-war” activist, opposed to the “war on terror” because he believes that America’s (and Israel’s) policies are the cause of terrorism and the hatred that Islamic fanatics direct against our country.
Because of his ideological opposition to American power, Obama deliberately and openly surrendered America’s gains in Iraq, which had been won through the sacrifice of thousands of American lives and tens of thousands of American casualties. By deliberately handing over America’s massive military base in Iraq – a country that borders Syria, Afghanistan and Iran – Obama turned that country over to the terrorists and Iran, as his generals and intelligence chief and secretary of defense warned it would. Obama disregarded the warnings from his national security advisers – as no other American president would have – because he regarded America rather than the terrorists as the threat. In abandoning Iraq and deliberately losing the peace, he betrayed every American and every Iraqi who gave their lives to keep Iraq out of the hands of the terrorists and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Obama’s stubborn refusal to use America’s military might – ground forces backed by air power – when Assad crossed the “red line” Obama had drawn in Syria created a second power vacuum that the terrorists filled, thus leading to the emergence of ISIS or ISIL – the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant. Defenders of Obama will claim that the American public would not have supported a military intervention in Syria even if Obama had ordered one. But why is that? It is because for eleven years, beginning with their assault on “Bush’s war” in Iraq, the Democrats have sabotaged the war on terror, claiming that America’s use of power for anything but “humanitarian” purposes is illegitimate, dangerous and the root cause of the terrorist problem.
Because it was “humanitarian” Obama felt justified in conducting an unauthorized, illegal intervention in Libya to overthrow an anti-al Qaeda dictator, saying it was to prevent an invisible threat to civilians there. The result? Al-Qaeda is now a dominant force in Libya, and 1.8 million Libyans – a third of the population – have fled to Tunisia. Another brutal Obama legacy. Yet, how firm is Obama’s commitment to humanitarian interventions? In Iraq he stood by while more than half a million Christians were either slaughtered or driven into exile by ISIS murderers on their mission to cleanse the earth of infidels. This was the oldest Christian community in the world, going back to the time of Christ, and Obama let it be systematically destroyed before bad press and pressure from his own party caused him to intervene to save Yazvidis and a Christian remnant trapped on a mountain top.
The Obama presidency has been an unmitigated disaster for Iraqis, Syrians, and Libyans. Now that ISIS is in control of territory the size of a state, has access to hundreds of millions of petrol dollars and advanced U.S. ordnance, not to mention chemical weapons that Saddam left behind, it is an impending disaster for the American homeland as well.
The Eight Marks of Fascist Policy
(There is much more to this article and I urge everyone to read it all)
Point 1. The government is totalitarian because it acknowledges no restraint on its powers.
This is a very telling mark. It suggests that the US political system can be described as totalitarian. This is a shocking remark that most people would reject. But they can reject this characterization only so long as they happen not to be directly ensnared in the state's web. If they become so, they will quickly discover that there are indeed no limits to what the state can do. This can happen boarding a flight, driving around in your hometown, or having your business run afoul of some government agency. In the end, you must obey or be caged like an animal or killed. In this way, no matter how much you may believe that you are free, all of us today are but one step away from Guantanamo.
"This nation, conceived in liberty, has been kidnapped by the fascist state."
As recently as the 1990s, I can recall that there were moments when Clinton seemed to suggest that there were some things that his administration could not do. Today I'm not so sure that I can recall any government official pleading the constraints of law or the constraints of reality to what can and cannot be done. No aspect of life is untouched by government intervention, and often it takes forms we do not readily see. All of healthcare is regulated, but so is every bit of our food, transportation, clothing, household products, and even private relationships.
Mussolini himself put his principle this way: "All within the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State." He also said: "The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative."
I submit to you that this is the prevailing ideology in the United States today. This nation, conceived in liberty, has been kidnapped by the fascist state.
Point 2. Government is a de facto dictatorship based on the leadership principle.
I wouldn't say that we truly have a dictatorship of one man in this country, but we do have a form of dictatorship of one sector of government over the entire country. The executive branch has spread so dramatically over the last century that it has become a joke to speak of checks and balances. What the kids learn in civics class has nothing to do with reality.
The executive state is the state as we know it, all flowing from the White House down. The role of the courts is to enforce the will of the executive. The role of the legislature is to ratify the policy of the executive.
Further, this executive is not really about the person who seems to be in charge. The president is only the veneer, and the elections are only the tribal rituals we undergo to confer some legitimacy on the institution. In reality, the nation-state lives and thrives outside any "democratic mandate." Here we find the power to regulate all aspects of life and the wicked power to create the money necessary to fund this executive rule.
As for the leadership principle, there is no greater lie in American public life than the propaganda we hear every four years about how the new president/messiah is going to usher in the great dispensation of peace, equality, liberty, and global human happiness. The idea here is that the whole of society is really shaped and controlled by a single will — a point that requires a leap of faith so vast that you have to disregard everything you know about reality to believe it.
And yet people do. The hope for a messiah reached a fevered pitch with Obama's election. The civic religion was in full-scale worship mode — of the greatest human who ever lived or ever shall live. It was a despicable display.
Another lie that the American people believe is that presidential elections bring about regime change. This is sheer nonsense. The Obama state is the Bush state; the Bush state was the Clinton state; the Clinton state was the Bush state; the Bush state was the Reagan state. We can trace this back and back in time and see overlapping appointments, bureaucrats, technicians, diplomats, Fed officials, financial elites, and so on. Rotation in office occurs not because of elections but because of mortality.
Point 3. Government administers a capitalist system with an immense bureaucracy.
The reality of bureaucratic administration has been with us at least since the New Deal, which was modeled on the planning bureaucracy that lived in World War I. The planned economy — whether in Mussolini's time or ours — requires bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is the heart, lungs, and veins of the planning state. And yet to regulate an economy as thoroughly as this one is today is to kill prosperity with a billion tiny cuts.
This doesn't necessarily mean economic contraction, at least not right away. But it definitely means killing off growth that would have otherwise occurred in a free market.
So where is our growth? Where is the peace dividend that was supposed to come after the end of the Cold War? Where are the fruits of the amazing gains in efficiency that technology has afforded? It has been eaten by the bureaucracy that manages our every move on this earth. The voracious and insatiable monster here is called the Federal Code that calls on thousands of agencies to exercise the police power to prevent us from living free lives.
It is as Bastiat said: the real cost of the state is the prosperity we do not see, the jobs that don't exist, the technologies to which we do not have access, the businesses that do not come into existence, and the bright future that is stolen from us. The state has looted us just as surely as a robber who enters our home at night and steals all that we love.
Point 4. Producers are organized into cartels in the way of syndicalism.
Syndicalist is not usually how we think of our current economic structure. But remember that syndicalism means economic control by the producers. Capitalism is different. It places by virtue of market structures all control in the hands of the consumers. The only question for syndicalists, then, is which producers are going to enjoy political privilege. It might be the workers, but it can also be the largest corporations.
In the case of the United States, in the last three years, we've seen giant banks, pharmaceutical firms, insurers, car companies, Wall Street banks and brokerage houses, and quasi-private mortgage companies enjoying vast privileges at our expense. They have all joined with the state in living a parasitical existence at our expense.
This is also an expression of the syndicalist idea, and it has cost the US economy untold trillions and sustained an economic depression by preventing the postboom adjustment that markets would otherwise dictate. The government has tightened its syndicalist grip in the name of stimulus.
Point 5. Economic planning is based on the principle of autarky.
Autarky is the name given to the idea of economic self-sufficiency. Mostly this refers to the economic self-determination of the nation-state. The nation-state must be geographically huge in order to support rapid economic growth for a large and growing population.
This was and is the basis for fascist expansionism. Without expansion, the state dies. This is also the idea behind the strange combination of protectionist pressure today combined with militarism. It is driven in part by the need to control resources.
Look at the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. We would be supremely naive to believe that these wars were not motivated in part by the producer interests of the oil industry. It is true of the American empire generally, which supports dollar hegemony.
It is the reason for the planned North American Union.
The goal is national self-sufficiency rather than a world of peaceful trade. Consider, too, the protectionist impulses of the Republican ticket. There is not one single Republican, apart from Ron Paul, who authentically supports free trade in the classical definition.
From ancient Rome to modern-day America, imperialism is a form of statism that the bourgeoisie love. It is for this reason that Bush's post-9/11 push for the global empire has been sold as patriotism and love of country rather than for what it is: a looting of liberty and property to benefit the political elites.
6. Government sustains economic life through spending and borrowing.
This point requires no elaboration because it is no longer hidden. There was stimulus 1 and stimulus 2, both of which are so discredited that stimulus 3 will have to adopt a new name. Let's call it the American Jobs Act.
With a prime-time speech, Obama argued in favor of this program with some of the most asinine economic analysis I've ever heard. He mused about how is it that people are unemployed at a time when schools, bridges, and infrastructure need repairing. He ordered that supply and demand come together to match up needed work with jobs.
Hello? The schools, bridges, and infrastructure that Obama refers to are all built and maintained by the state. That's why they are falling apart. And the reason that people don't have jobs is because the state has made it too expensive to hire them. It's not complicated. To sit around and dream of other scenarios is no different from wishing that water flowed uphill or that rocks would float in the air. It amounts to a denial of reality.
Still, Obama went on, invoking the old fascistic longing for national greatness. "Building a world-class transportation system," he said, "is part of what made us an economic superpower." Then he asked, "We're going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads?"
Well, the answer to that question is yes. And you know what? It doesn't hurt a single American for a person in China to travel on a faster railroad than we do. To claim otherwise is an incitement to nationalist hysteria.
As for the rest of this program, Obama promised yet another long list of spending projects. Let's just mention the reality: No government in the history of the world has spent as much, borrowed as much, and created as much fake money as the United States. If the United States doesn't qualify as a fascist state in this sense, no government ever has.
None of this would be possible but for the role of the Federal Reserve, the great lender to the world. This institution is absolutely critical to US fiscal policy. There is no way that the national debt could increase at a rate of $4 billion per day without this institution.
Under a gold standard, all of this maniacal spending would come to an end. And if US debt were priced on the market with a default premium, we would be looking at a rating far less than A+.
Point 7. Militarism is a mainstay of government spending.
Have you ever noticed that the military budget is never seriously discussed in policy debates? The United States spends more than most of the rest of the world combined.
And yet to hear our leaders talk, the United States is just a tiny commercial republic that wants peace but is constantly under threat from the world. They would have us believe that we all stand naked and vulnerable. The whole thing is a ghastly lie. The United States is a global military empire and the main threat to peace around the world today.
To visualize US military spending as compared with other countries is truly shocking. One bar chart you can easily look up shows the US trillion-dollar-plus military budget as a skyscraper surrounded by tiny huts. As for the next highest spender, China spends 1/10th as much as the United States.
Where is the debate about this policy? Where is the discussion? It is not going on. It is just assumed by both parties that it is essential for the US way of life that the United States be the most deadly country on the planet, threatening everyone with nuclear extinction unless they obey. This should be considered a fiscal and moral outrage by every civilized person.
This isn't only about the armed services, the military contractors, the CIA death squads. It is also about how police at all levels have taken on military-like postures. This goes for the local police, state police, and even the crossing guards in our communities. The commissar mentality, the trigger-happy thuggishness, has become the norm throughout the whole of society.
If you want to witness outrages, it is not hard. Try coming into this country from Canada or Mexico. See the bullet-proof-vest-wearing, heavily armed, jackbooted thugs running dogs up and down car lanes, searching people randomly, harassing innocents, asking rude and intrusive questions.
You get the strong impression that you are entering a police state. That impression would be correct.
Yet for the man on the street, the answer to all social problems seems to be more jails, longer terms, more enforcement, more arbitrary power, more crackdowns, more capital punishments, more authority. Where does all of this end? And will the end come before we realize what has happened to our once-free country?
Point 8. Military spending has imperialist aims.
Ronald Reagan used to claim that his military buildup was essential to keeping the peace. The history of US foreign policy just since the 1980s has shown that this is wrong. We've had one war after another, wars waged by the United States against noncompliant countries, and the creation of even more client states and colonies.
US military strength has led not to peace but the opposite. It has caused most people in the world to regard the United States as a threat, and it has led to unconscionable wars on many countries. Wars of aggression were defined at Nuremberg as crimes against humanity.
Obama was supposed to end this. He never promised to do so, but his supporters all believed that he would. Instead, he has done the opposite. He has increased troop levels, entrenched wars, and started new ones. In reality, he has presided over a warfare state just as vicious as any in history. The difference this time is that the Left is no longer criticizing the US role in the world. In that sense, Obama is the best thing ever to happen to the warmongers and the military-industrial complex.
As for the Right in this country, it once opposed this kind of military fascism. But all that changed after the beginning of the Cold War. The Right was led into a terrible ideological shift, well documented in Murray Rothbard's neglected masterpiece The Betrayal of the American Right. In the name of stopping communism, the right came to follow ex–CIA agent Bill Buckley's endorsement of a totalitarian bureaucracy at home to fight wars all over the world.
At the end of the Cold War, there was a brief reprise when the Right in this country remembered its roots in noninterventionism. But this did not last long. George Bush the First rekindled the militarist spirit with the first war on Iraq, and there has been no fundamental questioning of the American empire ever since. Even today, Republicans elicit their biggest applause by whipping up audiences about foreign threats, while never mentioning that the real threat to American well-being exists in the Beltway.
I can think of no greater priority today than a serious and effective antifascist alliance. In many ways, one is already forming. It is not a formal alliance. It is made up of those who protest the Fed, those who refuse to go along with mainstream fascist politics, those who seek decentralization, those who demand lower taxes and free trade, those who seek the right to associate with anyone they want and buy and sell on terms of their own choosing, those who insist they can educate their children on their own, the investors and savers who make economic growth possible, those who do not want to be felt up at airports, and those who have become expatriates.
It is also made of the millions of independent entrepreneurs who are discovering that the number one threat to their ability to serve others through the commercial marketplace is the institution that claims to be our biggest benefactor: the government.
How many people fall into this category? It is more than we know. The movement is intellectual. It is political. It is cultural. It is technological. They come from all classes, races, countries, and professions. This is no longer a national movement. It is truly global.
We can no longer predict whether members consider themselves to be left wing, right wing, independent, libertarian, anarchist, or something else. It includes those as diverse as homeschooling parents in the suburbs as well as parents in urban areas whose children are among the 2.3 million people who languish in jail for no good reason in a country with the largest prison population in the world.
And what does this movement want? Nothing more or less than sweet liberty. It does not ask that the liberty be granted or given. It only asks for the liberty that is promised by life itself and would otherwise exist were it not for the Leviathan state that robs us, badgers us, jails us, kills us.
This movement is not departing. We are daily surrounded by evidence that it is right and true. Every day, it is more and more obvious that the state contributes absolutely nothing to our well-being; it massively subtracts from it.
Back in the 1930s, and even up through the 1980s, the partisans of the state were overflowing with ideas. They had theories and agendas that had many intellectual backers. They were thrilled and excited about the world they would create. They would end business cycles, bring about social advance, build the middle class, cure disease, bring about universal security, and much more. Fascism believed in itself.
This is no longer true. Fascism has no new ideas, no big projects — and not even its partisans really believe it can accomplish what it sets out to do. The world created by the private sector is so much more useful and beautiful than anything the state has done that the fascists have themselves become demoralized and aware that their agenda has no real intellectual foundation.
It is ever more widely known that statism does not and cannot work. Statism is the great lie. Statism gives us the exact opposite of its promise. It promised security, prosperity, and peace; it has given us fear, poverty, war, and death. If we want a future, it is one that we have to build ourselves. The fascist state will not give it to us. On the contrary, it stands in the way.
It also seems to me that the old-time romance of the classical liberals with the idea of the limited state is gone. It is far more likely today that young people embrace an idea that 50 years ago was thought to be unthinkable: the idea that society is best off without any state at all.
When are we going to wake up, liberty or control, our choice?
Do you really think that you are safe from government, then why vote for the one who will not bring us liberty and vote for those who we think will bring the control we personally want while harming others rights to liberty?
Your support keeps freedom alive!